Epidemiological data and current trends
- The average age of travelers is increasing, as World Travel Monitor notes.
The number of travelers over 55 years old has increased from 23% to 35%.
- Internet is emerging as the major mean for booking and buying trips reaching up to 54%.
- The documented and informed decision of the traveler about choosing his travel – tourism destination is increasingly demanding (The Customer is King)
- Lilian Muler, President, European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT):
- ‘’…………. with improved accessibility, the €100 travel and tourism market for people with disabilities or physical restrictions could develop strongly ……………….. ‘’
- Professor Helmut Wachowiak, International University of Applied Sciences Bad Honnef ( IUBH ) near Bonn Germany:
- ‘’ ……….over the past 5 years health vacations by Europeans have increased by 38% while medical tourism has gone up by 24%, the IPK research found …………. ‘’
- ’’ ………… in future successful health tourism destinations would need to offer high quality services, quick availability of treatment and competitive prices as well as being attractive destinations for accompanying persons ………………‘’
(The World Travel Trends Report 2012/2013
By IPK International, ITB BERLIN- itb-berlin.com/library
Taking into account the epidemiological profile of travelers it is concluded that medical problems and health incidents that may occur vary between simple acute problems to complicated and life threatening conditions. Hotels and accommodation premises undertake significant responsibility being the first line of providing solutions and effective management in such conditions.
Health Tourism Trend
Medical tourism is a type of alternative tourism. The term “medical tourism” is widely defined for the provision of cost-competitive private medical care in collaboration with the tourism industry for patients who need surgical and other forms of specialized treatment, outside their country. In the context of medical tourism, both medical tourists and ordinary tourists, who suffer from chronic diseases, have the chance to be provided with medical care by well -organized healthcare facilities while enjoying hospitality by high level hospitality premises making in this way an utmost satisfactory experience in selected destinations.
Elective medical tourism concerns patients who visit destinations of their choice to perform both surgeries and / or other health care treatments – interventions.
The most important factors that influence and ultimately lead patients to the final destination of their choice for health care services are:
– The service cost
– The quality of the provided medical service
– The required waiting time in their country for the provision of the service
– The need to combine medical care with the experience of entertainment and traveling.
The combination of all these factors enables the medical tourists / international patients to receive medical care promptly without wasting time due to waiting lists at an affordable cost and at the best quality level of service.
Health tourism combines different types of offered services such as medical spa therapies, rejuvenation and thermal treatments and special facilities providing recovery and health improvement activities which are continuously becoming a high- value trend.